News in brief

May 4, 2001

Leaders chosen for two new health councils
Norma Brook has been appointed president of the shadow Health Professions Council, which will pave the way for the replacement of the Council for Professions Supplementary to Medicine.

Professor Brook was head of division of professions allied to medicine at the School of Health and Social Care at Sheffield Hallam University.

Jonathan Asbridge, deputy chief executive and chief nurse at Barts and the London National Health Service Trust, has been appointed president of the shadow Nursing and Midwifery Council, which will replace the UK Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting.

V-c laments taking a bigger pay rise
Sussex University's vice-chancellor has described the pay differential between himself and his staff as embarrassing.

In an interview with the student newspaper The Badger , Alasdair Smith was asked whether he felt uncomfortable about having accepted a pay increase of 10.4 per cent when lecturers were refused 4 per cent.

He said: "It's an embarrassment that we have one process for determining my salary and another for determining everyone else's."

Although he believed lecturers deserved more than 3 per cent, he had been unable to support a higher increase. "I felt that the university couldn't afford more than that," he said.

Industry-link projects benefit by £18 million
Eight academic-industry collaborations will share in the £18 million announced in the latest round of Faraday Partnerships.

The money comes from the Department of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Particle Physics and Astron-omy Research Council.

The projects are as follows:

  • The promotion of greener chemistry by Crystal, a collaboration of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institution of Chemical Engineers and the Chemical Industries Association
  • Reduction of pollution using biotechnology in place of chemistry by Pro-Bio, which involves the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, University College London, Edinburgh and Cambridge universities, Capenhurst Tec (Chester) and BHR Solutions (Bedford)
  • Food process engineering carried out by Birmingham University, Leatherhead Food Research Association and PERA (Melton Mowbray)
  • Electronics and photonics packaging and InterConnect, linking Cambridge, Durham, Heriot-Watt, Leeds and Sheffield universities with TWI (Cambridge) and ITRI (Uxbridge)
  • Integration of new and renewable energy in buildings, led by Nottingham, Loughborough, De Montfort and Ulster universities with the Buildings Research Establishment (Watford)
  • Remediation of the polluted environment, a project involving the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and Oxford, Belfast, Sheffield, Aberdeen, Nottingham and Cranfield universities with British Water, EA Technology, PERA (Melton Mowbray) and the Environment Agency
  • The development of optical technologies by Wolfson Unit, University of Southampton and Bristol, Cambridge, Exeter, Hull, Manchester, Oxford and Nottingham Trent universities
  • The application of precision scientific instruments by Smart Optics, combining the Mullard Space Science Laboratory UCL, the United Kingdom Astronomy Technology Centre and Sira (Chislehurst).

Footlights criticised for taking tobacco cash 
Anti-smoking group Action on Smoking and Health has attacked Cambridge University's Footlights drama company for accepting £25,000 sponsorship from British American Tobacco.

Amanda Sandford of Ash said: "This is going to give the impression that smoking is perfectly acceptable and normal."

V-cs lobby candidates before election 
Vice-chancellors today launched their Charter for Higher Education in a bid to propel universities and colleges up the general election agenda.

The booklet Speaking out for Our Universities has been sent to more than 2,000 prospective parliamentary candidates.

It details how universities contribute to the economy and calls for an additional £900 million a year in funding, financial support for students and fair pay for staff.

Scientists to study seas from orbit 
Scientists will study waves and currents from orbit via the Laboratory for Satellite Oceanography, which opened at the Southampton Oceanography Centre on Wednesday. The base will be used to observe changes in the sea's surface.


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